Comments turned on now. Don’t know how they got turned off. But J.C. fixed it with his mad webmasterin’ skills. Thanks, John!
I feel like I start every day with a weather report, but this is Michigan, and weather is something you have to pay attention to — brutal in summer and winter, lovely in spring and fall, except for this spring, when it’s been brutal. I’m writing this on Sunday, when it might reach 50 degrees, but probably won’t, and even if it does, it won’t matter, because it’s raining hard, and blowing hard, and, well, balls.
But Friday was very fine, warm and muggy, and good thing, because we celebrated our anniversary that day. Eighteen years. We went to the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms. What a miracle that place is. The owner, Gretchen Valade, is a jazz fan and heiress, something you don’t always find in one body, particularly one who grew up in the Farms, where estate sales tend to carry lots of Perry Como records, but there you are. A while back she saved the Detroit Jazz Festival with a seven-figure gift. She started a record label to give promising artists a place to get started. And then she opened the Dirty Dog, in the heart of the snootiest of all the Pointes, and there’s not a single thing anyone can object to — two seatings a night, at 6 and 8:30, with live jazz starting at 30 minutes past sit-down and running through dessert. In other words, a perfect evening for an old married couple, because you don’t have to carry the conversation through the whole time. You hit the highlights during cocktails, then settle in to listen to music.
And it’s not a cafe at all, but fine dining. I had the seafood fricassee, Alan the salmon. ‘Twas all good.
Oh, and Ms. Valade’s family fortune? Her maiden name is Carhartt. Yep, the workingman’s first choice in insulated coveralls. I read an interview with her once where she said she always felt inadequate among the other Grosse Pointe debs, because their families were all in cars and other industry, and hers only made blue jeans.
Outside magazine ran a piece a few years ago, about an annual get-together in Alaska, where people who have had near-death experiences in extremely cold weather credit their survival to their Carhartts:
“One time,” says Doug Tweedie, Carhartt’s man in Alaska for the last 25 years, “there was this walrus attacked a guy tying his boat up to a dock somewhere in the Aleutian chain who said what saved him were the black extreme-heavy-duty Carhartts the walrus’s chompers couldn’t bite through.”
Last laughs, anyone?
So here I am on Sunday, doing about the only thing it’s fit to do — watching Kate get her hair colored, and trying out MY BRAND-NEW IPAD SQUEE. Writing via a Bluetooth keyboard I picked up with my Amazon bucks (thank you, all). So far I like it, although it’s odd to use a keyboard and still occasionally have to reach out and touch the screen. I’m going for a certain super-minimalism in my travel gear, and I think this fills the bill. I’ll keep you posted.
Because I have no idea how long the connection will stay this strong, a hop to the bloggage.
From the WashPost, a few ideas for spring cleaning, starting with that particular bane, the engagement ring:
The diamond industry, in its infinite marketing savvy, seems to have convinced young couples that the only way to declare a lifetime commitment is for a man to ruinously spend two or three months’ salary on the proper rock. Men write to me to say that they’re ready to get married, but given school debt and the depressed economy, they simply can’t afford a good enough ring, and they despair whether they’ll ever be able to pop the question. Here’s a secret that the folks at De Beers don’t want young people to know: All you need to do to become officially engaged is tell everyone, “We’re getting married!”
Word on that. I never wanted an engagement ring, and I’m still a plain gold band girl. I once worked with a silly young woman, the sort who read women’s magazines and fell head over heels for all this b.s., and she introduced me to a new concept that must not have caught on, but it did with her — engagement rings for men, too. They weren’t diamond solitaires, but some sort of manly-ish thing. I wonder if she’s still married.
Others from the list — smartphones, tipping and “The Simpsons.”
If you missed Moe’s contribution to last day’s comments, the shortest deposition ever. It reminds me of a motion filing we used to pass around in Columbus, by one of Larry Flynt’s lawyers. It was prompted by a cop’s testimony in a prostitution sting, which involved attempted oral sex in a hot tub. By the time the lawyer had established the depth of the hot tub, the officer’s position in it and the fact the woman was not wearing snorkel equipment, it was pretty much a done deal that the cop was not going to sit still for a physical exam, which is what the filing requested. Case dismissed.
Finally, the columnist for the other paper in Fort Wayne writes about my old zip code without once explaining where, exactly, it is. This might have been in a graphic in the print edition, but not online. Oopsie.
OK, better get out of here before the internet slows again. Upload to server in 3,2,1…